Manning & Armstead Groove In Grove Bowl - - The News for South Mississippi

Manning & Armstead Groove In Grove Bowl

Eli Manning threw for 378 yards, hooking up with Jason Armstead eight times for 187 yards, as the Red team defeated the Blue team 49-21 in Mississippi's final spring scrimmage Saturday night. The Blue team jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter. Backup quarterback David Morris threw a 78-yard touchdown to Taye Biddle to start the scoring. Third-string quarterback Michael Spurlock hooked up with Chris Collins on a 37-yard TD to complete the outburst. In between, Robert Williams ran eight yards for a score. From there Manning's squad took over with ground support from Tremaine Turner and junior college transfer Ronald McClendon. Turner ran for 55 yards and two touchdowns and the highly touted McClendon led all runners with 64 yards and scored a TD. The Red team piled up 579 yards. ``When a team gets down 21-0 and responds, it's exciting,'' Ole Miss coach David Cutcliffe said. ``We handicapped our defense by not showing a lot of our package and that showed tonight. When a player like Eli Manning knows where you are going to lineup he will pick you apart.''

Manning was 25-for-38 with 9-yard touchdown passes to Doug Zeigler and Kerry Johnson. On the down side, Manning was intercepted three times. Zeigler's touchdown put the Red team ahead 28-21 in the third quarter. Armstead was the star among the pass catchers. ``In our receiving corps, no one has really separated themselves until tonight,'' Cutcliffe said. ``Armstead showed some impressive things on the field tonight. He made some great catches and put forth a lot of effort to get the extra yards and make something happen.'' Sophomore defensive back Tavarus Horne led the Red team with five tackles and he recovered a fumble. Linebacker Ryan Hamilton had 14 tackles to lead the Blue team, and freshman Jeremy Ruffin had 11 tackles. ``Ruffin is a hitter,'' Cutcliffe said. ``He is an exciting young player with a lot to learn, because he has never played safety.'' A crowd of 27,215 watched the Rebels wrap up spring practice at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

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